So, Kane, Bentaleb, Veljkovic and Pritchard. Did anyone envisage ending the season with these tyros comfortably holding Villa at bay? Naughton, Rose, Chiriches, Sigurdsson, Adebayor. Does anyone envisage starting next season with all of these? It’s possible I suppose but I sincerely hope not. I would add Dawson and Sandro to that mix, but we do need some players after all.
Villa’s comedy team and supporters delivered an end of season display that will live short in the memory unless you’re a PhD student of group self deprecation in which case you might be wise to switch your studies from those champions of irony at Upton Park to members of the Holte End instead. Perhaps I’ve lost my sense of humour or maybe it’s my natural aversion to fancy dress coming out. “We lose every week”, mock celebration of opposition goals, “we want our Villa back” and singing “you’re getting sacked in the morning” (admittedly to which manager I’m not sure) are no doubt all hilarious to those on the terraces but wouldn’t do my mood much good if I was a player on the pitch.
Villa’s surrender to a Spurs team possibly at their best, possibly at their worst, we really don’t know, meant that we achieved the desired outcome (European footy) without needing to change to a gear we don’t know we have, so That’s All Good. Winning the Europa League next year gets you Champions League qualification and not taking that seriously means you’ve missed the point of modern day football. What happens if the winners have already qualified through their domestic league which is more than likely given that most winners qualified for the Moneybags, not the Europa, in the first place I don’t know. No doubt Platini will make up the rules as he goes along.
Back to the game. We were on top from the off and Paulinho’s opener may carry the distinction of being the first goal we’ve scored in the first fifteen minutes of a league game this season. An astonishing fact (if true) and one that speaks volumes for our lack of tempo. Kane might have scored before then and several players could’ve added to the lead before Baker turned in Rose’s cross under pressure from Adebayor and the latter converted a penalty far more emphatically than is his normal wont. We could have scored again before the interval, very little of note happened after it.
Veljkovic was brought on to patrol the midfield for half an hour and then the lesser spotted, of late anyway, Bentaleb. Pritchard was greeted with cheers as he ran on in the 83rd minute, his reputation having gone before him. His first, and possibly only, touch was also hurrahed, Sherwood’s clearly not the only one with high hopes for this lad. It’ll be a couple of years though before we start seeing him playing regularly I suspect given that he’s currently in the same weight category as most of the ball boys (and girls). Great to see him being given a cameo though.
So a frustrating season comes to a close. Levy and ENIC have some serious decision to make with regards to leadership and personnel. The new stadium looks to be inching closer and that’ll put even more pressure on finances. Moneybags League football would be a god send but we need to make up 10 points on fourth place if we’re to get it. Finding a way to not get hammered by the top three and West Ham whenever we play them would be a good start. The new season starts on August 16th. COYS.
View our Tottenham player ratings vs Aston Villa.
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